Importance of Funding Basic Research

Here, here … a very elegant & eloquent commentary from Nature Structural & Molecular Biology reviewing the 72nd Symposium on Quantitative Biology both as a meeting summary and as justification for more rather than less non-earmarked basic research funding:

“These examples raise two important points. The first is that concentrating research efforts in just one or two systems because of their potential applications will necessarily limit our appreciation of nature’s ability to find different solutions to the same problem. Moreover, general principles can emerge only through comparison of many different systems. A second point is serendipity, illustrated by well-known studies with no apparent applications that later turned out to be of great utility or general importance.”

1 Comment »

  1. PhysioProf said

    That was a very nice commentary. And having been at the meeting–and a member of the chronobiology community–I can say that the author really did capture one key aspect of the success and vibrancy of the field.

    Bottom line: You gotta fund lots of basic science, because there is absolutely no way to identify ahead of time the particular projects that are going to lead to practical applications.

    Agreed. And after reading the commentary, I wish I could have donned my scientific writer hat & been a fly on the wall for what must have been truly fascinating presentations. – writedit

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